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An experiment in open source publication

Coloured books

Beezer, R. 2009, ‘The textbook that is truly free’, EDUCAUSE Review, vol. 44, no. 1

Beezer, a mathematics lecturer (Professor, Mathematics and Computer Science Department, University of Puget Sound) describes the process of converting his course lecture notes into an open source textbook which he released under a GNU Free Documentation Licence.

He describes the process as an experiment to answer the following questions:

  • Could an individual, simply as a content expert, use computers and networks for the creation and distribution of a textbook?
  • Could a free textbook still generate financial return?
  • Would others use, and contribute to, an open-content textbook?

The answer to all three questions, in Beezer’s view is a resounding YES!

It should be noted that the financial returns were generated through user donations and through a $5 surcharge for print-on-demand service at Lulu.com

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